Welsh Labour MP Chris Elmore has called on UK Government ministers to address the rise in cases of domestic abuse that commonly accompanies major sporting events.
The Ogmore MP asked Justice Ministers to do more to prevent such observed spikes in domestic abuse ahead of the Six Nations tournament which begins next month. He also stressed the need to invest in support services for domestic abuse victims.
The Domestic Abuse Bill passed through its second reading in Parliament before the General Election and featured in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December. MPs and domestic abuse charities are now waiting to hear when the Bill will return to Committee stage.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“There is significant evidence which shows that police see a steep rise in domestic abuse cases reported during major sporting events. Higher alcohol consumption and heightened emotions can be a fatal combination.
“Sportsmen and women are often role models for many in society and the Government should work with them and the rugby unions across the UK to get the message out there that domestic abuse is wrong and there is never any excuse for it.”
A number of studies have linked major sporting events to increases in domestic abuse cases reported to police. One such study in North West England by Lancaster University found that reports to police increased by 26 per cent when the England football team won or drew during FIFA World Cup tournaments; and increased by 38% when they lost.
“The statistics around major sporting events show the importance of getting the Domestic Abuse Bill through the next stages in Parliament and into law so that we can better protect those experiencing or vulnerable to domestic abuse.
“This scourge has no place in our society and Parliament must take the lead in showing that it is not acceptable."